Have you ever been invited to a potluck gathering and the first thought that goes through your mind is, “how am I going to stick to my diet at this thing?” Well, here are a few simple tricks to help you stay on track the next time you have to attend a potluck function!
1.) Before heading over to a potluck party you should make a conscious decision NOT to cheat. Say the words over a few times in your head and remind yourself of your goals and how important it is to stay on track In order to reach them.
2.) Have a nutrient dense breakfast with protein, healthy fats and fiber from fruits or vegetables followed by a mid-morning snack (about 2 hours after breakfast). Your morning snack can consist of yogurt with berries, peanut butter with apple or a handful of nuts with fruit. Pressed for time? Have a protein shake or smoothie instead. This will help you feel full, and is a great way to keep your urge to binge eat under control by the time you arrive at the potluck lunch.
3.) If you do plan to eat a few extra calories at the potluck then you should be mindful of what you eat earlier in the day. Save a few extra calories for your potluck meal. For example, if you normally eat a carbohydrate with your breakfast but you know you’re going want to eat a carbohydrate with your potluck meal, then why not try eating a low carb alternative at breakfast so you’re not doubling up in heavy carbohydrates that day. This way you stay a little closer to your daily target caloric intake.
4.) When you get to the potluck avoid tempation! Try to keep from standing around the food table or near the kitchen. If you know there’s a certain food that you just cannot resist, the best way to overcome the urge to eat it is to keep it out of your sights (as the saying goes… out of sight, out of mind )
5.) Bring your favourite healthy dish so at least you know there will be somthing there that you can enjoy without guilt. There are so many healthy options you could bring such as a shrimp cocktail ring, fresh berries, veggies with a low calorie dip or hummus.
6.) when you do finally head over to the buffet of food be sure to choose wisely opting for lean protein and veggies instead of starchy carbs or fried foods. And when it comes to desert, choose fruit if possible instead of sugary sweets and if there aren’t any healthy options for a desert then Its a good idea to have a back up plan in your purse such as your favourite protein bar, this little trick will help curb that pesky sweet craving.
7.) Beware of portion distortion! Taking too much is often the biggest culprit when it comes to buffets and potlucks. A simple trick to observe proper portions is by using your hand to measure (and i don’t mean grab the food to measure!). The size and thickness of your palm is the appropriate portion of protein for you, two full hands is a great measure for leafy greens and vegetables, the size your thumb is a good measure for healthy fat such as butter, nut butters or oil and lastly if you cup your hand, that represents your serving of carbohydrates like rice, cooked pasta and bread.
8.) Keep Hydrated. Often hunger can too be a sign of dehydration. Drink plenty of water throughout your morning to suppress those hunger pains and keep sugary and starchy temptations at bay!
Maintaining proper nutrition is one of the more difficult lifestyle changes to tackle. The key is to focus on what YOU can control. Apply these tips daily and you will reap the benefits of a healthier and happier you.
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